Sunday, September 29, 2013

2nd Grade Educents Bundle is Here!

I'm so thrilled to tell you that I'm part of the 2nd Grade bundle at Educents. Here's your chance to get some super 2nd grade products from so many wonderful sellers!  

This is so very exciting to team up with Educents.  I know you will love my "Frogs and Toads" unit.

 Reading Texts and Comprehension Activities

Picture/Fact Match, Life Cycle Match, and Frog and Toad Fact Sort 
Writing Prompts and An Amphibian Report

There are 23 other products in our bundle to get your kids learning!  Hop along to see all the goodies you will get!  

Good Enough Teacher

But that's not all!  I am giving you a chance to Pin It to Win It (well you win any item from my store.)  Pin any image from my blog and enter below to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The deal won't last long so head over now!
The Winner is !!!!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tips on Teaching Common Core Critical Vocabulary

As a former ESL teacher and working at a Title I school where students don't hear many rich and robust words at home, vocabulary instruction has always been a major part of my reading curriculum. There is a new language associated with Common Core standards that students also need to understand. These are content specific words but critical for students to understand. This list is called the Common Core Critical Language. You can access the 55 critical nouns and verbs by clicking HERE.  If you take a look at the standards you will see these words repeatedly throughout the ELA Common Core Skills. For the primary grades you will see words such as:
draw, retell, trace, summarize, compare and contrast, describe, develop, and demonstrate just to name a few verbs. Here are just a few of the critical nouns for the primary grades: details, conclusions, theme.  

How do you know your students understand these words? Here's a simple way to find out. Look at the standards to see when these critical vocabulary words are introduced. Make a list to give to each of your students, like the ones below. Try to highlight those words as you look through the standards for your grade level. Although you may think that your students may understand what they mean you may be surprised. I would not make the list any more than ten and you may only want to do a few during vocabulary instruction for the primary grades.

I've included 2 different lists; one for primary and one for  intermediate grades which you can download for free by clicking on either picture below. Try to teach them in the order that they are presented if possible.

Here are some tips for specifically teaching these words:

  • Introduce the word and determine the definition with your students. It needs to be a student friendly definition.
  • Ask students to draw a picture of the word or what it represents. (symbol)
  • Find synonyms and antonyms for the word. 
  • Make up simple songs or jingles for the word. 
  • Have students create semantic maps for some of the words.
  • Have students create a vocabulary page in a notebook or use the one below to put in a notebook or folder that they can refer to. When they see the words in other contexts or content they can add that information to the page. You can download the one below by clicking on the picture.
Here are a few "Whole Class" activities you might like to try to help students have more practice with this critical vocabulary:

  • Act out the words.
  • Have students create Bingo Games with the following: Have the definitions in the boxes.
  •  Call out the words and students place a marker on the definition.  
  •  Have students walk around the room and when you say stop they ask the person next to them if they know what one of the words is. If they do they sign their name. Continue until someone yells "Bingo"
  • Model the words in your classroom. The more the students see them, say them, hear them and write them the more automatic they will be in their vocabulary bank.
    Here a Common Core Pinterest Board to follow:

Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students. Hope you found this useful!
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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Set Sail for Columbus Day Free Resources and Activities.

It's almost October and Columbus Day is right around the corner. I've put together some great free resources, activities, craft ideas and more for all your Columbus day needs. To start let's visit Holidayzone which you can access by clicking on the picture below. You will find links to books, arts and craft activities, songs and poems, language activities, puzzles and more.

You can read Interesting Facts about Columbus Day and get more links to free activities at Kids Connect by clicking on the picture below.
Scholastic has "Everything You Need" for Columbus Day for all grade levels that you don't want to miss, so click on the picture below.
In case you are looking for more check out Apples4theTeacher which has free activities, printables, a skit, poems and short stories.
How about making this hand print ship? I thought it was so cute. Just click on the picture to find out how.
You can find more craft ideas at dltk by clicking HERE.
At the All Kids Network you will find the templates and directions for making this Columbus Day Ships Craft. Just click below.
After all my searches I came up with one more website for free activities, songs, crafts and more.
Just click on the picture below.
Wow! That's a lot of free resources.  Well I finally revised and updated both my K-1 and 2-3 Columbus Day packets which you may want to check out. This is my K-1 packet which is filled with reading and writing activities galore. You will find a Shared Reading Book, 3 Differentiated Reading Books at the Early Emergent and Emergent levels, plus 3 Comprehension Activities for each book. Students will make their own narrative writing books about Columbus by either Tracing and Writing the Words, Filling in the Missing Words in Sentences or Retelling the Story with Pictures. There are literacy activities, a Word Wall and Picture/Word card activities, too. You can see sample pages of all the differentiated reading and writing books as well as the literacy activities when you download the Preview file. Just click on the picture below to get all the details.

For Grades 2-3 I have revised my "Set Sail for Columbus Day" which you can check out by clicking on the picture below. It also has a Shared Reading Book, Reading Texts and Comprehension Activities, Picture/Fact Cards, Informative Text and Opinion Piece Writing Prompts and Graphic Organizers. You can download the Preview file to see sample pages of all the differentiated reading texts as well as writing and other activities in this unit.

Here is a fun freebie for K-1 teachers from me. Students will build fluency by rolling the die and reading the words or phrases. This is a fun pair literacy center activity.
You can access it by clicking on the image below.

Hope you will check out all my new Pinterest Boards and follow. Just click 

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I've really been busy getting all these great free resources together for you. Hope you find some great activities.

Freebie Fridays

 Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students. Have a great Columbus Day holiday.

What kinds of activities do you do for Columbus Day?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's Fall Fun Time with Freebies

Today I went out for a walk and was pleasantly surprised that the temperature was 86 and there was a nice breeze. Even the humidity was low. Does that mean that fall is here? Well the calendar may say it will be here in a few days but it probably won't feel like fall for awhile here. I can't wait to feel the cool morning air and walk on crunchy leaves. It will feel great to wear jeans and a sweater. How about you?

To get you in the mood I've put together some great websites for you to check out to find some free activities, crafts, games etc.

Apples4theteacher has lots of great resources. First is their list of fall books which you can check out by clicking on the picture below. You can check out their free activities, printables and poems by clicking HERE.
There are some great fall crafts to make and I found a few great websites to check out. Just click on the pictures below to access all the details and instructions.
                                                     No Time for Flashcards
Looking for online fall games and free printables just click on the pictures below.

I finally revised my "What Happens in Fall?" Reading and Writing Unit. The original was 50 pages and the all new product is 92 pages! It has an original shared reading book, 3 leveled guided reading books, writing activities at the K-2 levels and so much more. Here is a sample of the Shared Reading book, Word Wall and the 3 Differentiated Reading Books in the Unit.
You will also find Differentiated Writing and Fluency Activities and more. To see all the materials and activities please click on the image below to download the preview file. If you purchased the original, then go to your purchase page and download the revised unit.
You may also like this revised and updated Fall Play and Readers Theater: I added a fun Readers Theater Script for 2nd and 3rd Grade. Here is a sample of the Fall Play and Readers Theater:
You can see all the materials and activities by clicking on the image below.

Looking for some new Pinterest Boards to follow? Just click HERE. Here are a few you may like:

Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students. Hope it's a fun fall where you are.
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Freebie Fridays

What is your favorite fall book?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Teaching Syllables with an "I Spy" Game and a Hat

Last fall I found this really cute game on© Copyright 2006-2012 All Rights Reserved.) Although it was a great way for parents to help their children practice at home, I thought it would be a fun game to play in the classroom. This was a twist on the usual "I Spy" games and looked like a fun activity for 1st and 2nd graders. Before playing the game, review what syllables are and practice clapping out some words to make sure everyone understands. Then cut out or rip 4 pieces of colored paper and number then from 1-4 and put them in a hat. Students will take turns picking out a number card from the hat and think of a word that has the same number of syllables in it. You can narrow it down with theme words such as "Classroom Things" or "School" etc. that students are familiar with. Students at this age will also need to give a clue and the number of syllables the word has before students try to guess what it is. For example, "It has 3 syllables and I use it when I do my schoolwork." (eraser). You can also make up a literacy center activity with Clues like the one below and a list of words. This is a freebie which you can download by clicking on the image below. I have altered it a little. Unfortunately my laptop crashed a few months ago and although I saved most of my files on my external hard drive I realized that this freebie was gone.

This is part of my Fall Literacy Center Packet which you can access by clicking on the picture below. Unfortunately my laptop crashed a few months ago and although I saved most of my files on my external hard drive I realized that this freebie and my "It's Fall Fun Time for All" Literacy Activities below were gone. As much as I would have liked to remake the whole Literacy packet I just haven't had enough time to do it this year. 

Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

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Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students. Hope you have a wonderful fall season.

When do you start teaching about syllables with your students?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fall Leaves, Fall Leaves, What Do You See? I See a Freebie Waiting for Me!

When I lived in New England I was so excited when fall arrived and the leaves started to turn such magnificent colors of red, orange, and yellow. Fall is truly a beautiful season and I was surprised at how beautiful it was even in Alaska. Although fall was only 3 weeks long it became a sea of gold.
Even in northern Florida we still get a taste of fall usually in November and I am stilled awed by all the beauty that surrounds me. I wrote a Fall Leaves Unit which I just revised. It includes a Shared Reading Book called, "Green Leaves, Green Leaves" about the leaves changing colors in the maple tree. Here is a glimpse of the first page.
Students will not only listen to the story but interact with the story with different colored leaves that they will color.They will also enjoy performing one of two plays about fall leaves. There are Make and Take books at both the K and 1st grade levels, a Word Wall, Picture/Word Matching Activity and a fun "Fall Tree Journal" where they will draw and describe the leaves on a fall tree over a period of time. You can see sample pages of all the reading and writing activities, the Fall Tree Journal and other activities when you download the Preview.  Just click on the picture below.
Here is a sample of one of the plays. This is for Kindergarten. There is also one for 1st Grade.
While performing the plays students will either wear character necklaces or make a fall leaf hat and I found some cool free fall hat crafts for your students to make, too. I love this one with tissue paper which you can access by clicking on the picture below.
If you have beautiful fall leaves where you live how about having your students make one of these? Just click on the picture to find out how to make it.

Looking for some great new Pinterest Boards to follow? Just click HERE. Here are a few :

Wherever you live I hope you have a beautiful fall season. Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

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Freebie Fridays

What is fall like where you live?